University of Aizu

We learn from them; they learn from us.

 

 
International exchange activities at the University of Aizu.    

"Rose Hulman is a very famous university," said Yusuke Abe, a freshman at University of Aizu in Aizuwakamatsu, Japan. His three-week stay at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was Abe's first time visiting a foreign country. "This is an opportunity for me."

In 2006, Rose-Hulman entered into a cooperative agreement with the University of Aizu, and Abe is just one of many students who have come through the program since. The University of Aizu, with its 1,100 undergraduate and graduate students, is dedicated to computer science education and is known in Japan for its open access to computers. Under the agreement, students from both Aizu and Rose-Hulman can attend classes at the sister school over a period of weeks to months.
 
In 2010, president of the University, Shigeaki Tsunoyama, visited Rose-Hulman with a cadre of administrators and students from the school as part of a two-day campus visit. According to Tsunoyama, Aizu officials wanted a relationship with Rose-Hulman "because the quality of education at Rose-Hulman is very good, very high-level . . . It's very beneficial for our students."

  Aizu Visitors
  Visiting Aizu students just arrived, spring 2013,
to take Rose-Hulman computer science courses.

The relationship between schools is also helping expand horizons for Rose-Hulman students. In 2009, when senior computer engineering majors Nick McNees and Elliot Simon joined senior electrical engineering major Andrew Anderson and senior physics major Jamie Kleeman to attend the University of Aizu, they took graduate-level classes -- given in English -- that covered a variety of specialized computer science subjects. Each class had the students working in diversified project groups with colleagues from China, Bulgaria, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Columbia and Vietnam.
 

"I thought it would be good to go outside Rose-Hulman and experience a different school, a different environment and a different

culture," said Simon, from Paradise Valley, Ariz. He was planning to work for a company in California with ties to Japan. Kleeman, from Wilmette, Ill., was considering graduate school in Japan after working at Aizu on a project with a student from Bulgaria and another student from China.

"Everybody approached things differently. They had their own way of coming at it and their own way of tackling the problems," he said.

Aizu president

 

Presidential Visit: Late Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Matt Branam welcoming Shigeaki Tsunoyama, president of Japan's University of Aizu, during a two-day campus visit.

 

In 2012, Chris Taylor, who was studying mapping as a CSSE sophomore, vied for the chance to attend Aizu. He had wanted to go to Aizu since he first heard about it as an incoming freshman. To qualify for the program, Taylor had to complete a number of required courses, including those covering Japanese culture and geography.

Once accepted, Taylor got to use his mapping skills on a project team of 20 students helping produce tourist maps for European travelers. Taylor spent February 21 to March 3 travelling throughout Japan the way various tourists might - he slept on futons and buckwheat pillows one night and dined in downtown Tokyo the next.

This also gave Taylor a good opportunity to learn the language. "The best way to learn a language is to just immerse yourself in it," said Taylor, "and then you have to learn it."
 
Rose-Hulman recognizes that these international educational opportunities will be more valuable to prospective employers.
 
"There's no question the employers of our graduates are looking for young people who have demonstrated they have the academics," said the late Rose-Hulman president Matt Branam, who had cultivated a strong relationship with the Aizu president over their exchanged university visits. "But [employers] also understand how the world works and they can deal with other

cultures in other settings."